These episodes get some fairly low scores from me primarily because I'm not a big fan of Rolly. While Lucky has his desire to be popular or be a hero, Cadpig has her desire to live in harmony or attempts to pacify her violent tendencies and Spot has her 'impossible dream', Rolly's psyche will delve about as far as his gut will take him. I like Rolly as a character; he's proven himself to be a good friend and he gets his share of the laughs. But...he's just too 'meek' for me to truly cheer or sympathize with. Rolly, in my opinion, is the least interesting of the Main Pups and he just works best as a foil for the other three. The wishy-washy 'middle child' mentality of only wanting to be accepted doesn't make for anything overly exciting. Rolly does have his moments, but if Lucky and Cadpig wanted to dump him at the buffet for a few episodes in favor of more of characters like Patch, Tripod and Two-Tone, my objections would be somewhat minor.
'Hail to the Chief'--Pongo tells Rolly he hoped that one day, he would follow in his great-grandfather Rolondo on the eve of a Chief Firedog contest.
It does gather some laughs and was somewhat entertaining, but there was something about 'Hail to the Chief' that left something to be desired. It seemed to take up too much time to set up its plotline, and everything seemed to be finished in three minutes, flat. Maybe if this was a half-hour episode it would have been different.
The message of the episode was probably 'You can do anything if you put your mind to it', which is a good message. Cruella's plot to save her money--through the 'Dime-a-Drip' fire hydrants, was probably a statement on water conservation, but it did little for the plot; she needed Jasper and Horace to place her fire hydrant but she was only truly needed to accidently set the barn on fire.
Beyond the pacing problems, it was an okay episode.
'Food for Thought'--Rolly is lured into P.H. DeVil's Ice Cream factory as part of his scheme for animal testing.
Personally, I thought 'Food for Thought' was the superior episode, but that praise is only somewhat light. Like 'Hail to the Chief' before it, it just feels like it's over when it seems like it's getting started. The whole bit with Rolly floating around like a helium balloon just gets tiring for me.
The episode's message is likely 'Don't take candy from strangers', which is another good message.
The other characters who Rolly conspired to escape with were a nice addition; the glow-in-the-dark raccoon and the caffinated turtle had their moments. P.H. DeVil is a nice touch too; he makes out to be an entertaining villain and he can be humorous as well; it made 'Food for Thought' stronger overall.
Overall, I would say these two episodes were just okay at best. Rolly seems to go through a change but by the end, just goes back to the way he was. In the first cartoon, Rolly proves that he can be a hero, but in the second, he's still the same old Rolly. The fact that so much emphasis was placed on Rolly and Rolly alone hurts it; I thought Lucky, Cadpig and Spot were a little shortchanged in both episodes and they should have gotten a greater role. In 'Hail to the Chief', they were pretty much only there to heckle Rolly into being a real firedog, but later, in 'Food for Thought', they had to bail him out. The fact Lucky, Cadpig and Spot go through a change but Rolly changes only to change back leaves Rolly as the least engaging of the four. Stick with playing support, Rolly.
"Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. And if you do that to me again...I am going to violate the other six on you!!"
--I won't mind, as long as you do 'lust', "Food for Thought"